This Appears to Be "Lost" Audio of Chris Farley as Shrek

This Appears to Be "Lost" Audio of Chris Farley as Shrek

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This Appears to Be "Lost" Audio of Chris Farley as Shrek

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In one of those weird internet phenomena, a long lost tape of Chris Farley voicing Shrek has made its way into the sharing chamber. The reason this is strange is not that it exists at all, but that it’s existed virtually untouched since Farley’s death in 1997, and since the animated film’s release in 2001. Weirdly, this clip has been sitting there in plain view on a Vimeo page, purportedly uploaded by a Dreamworks producer, for two years.

In 2004, Jim Hill wrote the backstory on how Shrek would have been a different film if it were made, as intended, with Farley, as opposed to with Mike Myers (highest recommendation to read the whole thing):

[T]here wouldn’t have been a “Shrek” (the motion picture) at all if that “Saturday Night Live” vet hadn’t initially agreed to do voicework for this Dreamworks Animation feature back in 1996. Yeah, these days, few people seem to recall that “Shrek” was originally envisioned as a vehicle for Chris Farley. That this Dreamworks project was initially tailor-made for this “SNL” star’s oversized talents.

Of course, back then, “Shrek” was supposed to have had a very different storyline. It wasn’t a movie about an ogre who just wanted to be left alone in his swamp. But — rather — it was about a teenage ogre who wasn’t all that eager to go into the family business. You see, young Shrek didn’t really want to frighten people. He longed to make friends, help people. This ogre actually dreamed of becoming a knight. This was the version of “Shrek” that Chris Farley was working on just prior to his untimely death in December 1997. According to folks that I’ve spoken with who worked on this version of the film, Farley’s voice work on the project was nothing short of heroic.

There were apparently talks to try to put the movie together with what Farley had already done, but the team felt that filling in the blanks with a sound-a-like would have disrespected his legacy. According to Hill, other actors who were considered for the role of Shrek included Tom Cruise, Nicholas Cage, and Leonardo DiCaprio.

In any event, it’s great to hear Chris Farley’s voice again on something new, he remains sorely missed, and it is fascinating to imagine what Shrek would have been like if he’d been able to finish the project.

 

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